“The therapists did things I hadn’t even thought about to help Cooper get ready for nursery.”
Cooper’s mum Kerrie shares her family’s journey as a mum of twins to two raspberry blowing cheeky boys, one of whom has cerebral palsy.
“The twins were born at 37 weeks + 5, so not that early. Cooper was born first at 4lbs and 14oz, but then Lucas was born 2 minutes later and he was 7lbs and 9oz. Everything seemed fine, we were back on the ward for a few hours and then one of the nurses noticed that Cooper was very sleepy. He went to neonatal for the night where he became very poorly having a seizure and grade 4 bleed on the brain. The neurologists said he had Hydrocephalus and would probably be severely disabled.
At seven months old he had a shunt put in his brain to remove a build up of brain fluid. As soon as he got it he was a different baby, he was trying to use his hands and doing things he’d never done before. Cooper is weaker on his right hand side and even at that age his hand was tight and into his chest. He was diagnosed about a year later with quadriplegic cerebral palsy.
Cooper was seeing the NHS physio for one hour every three weeks and I felt I wanted more for him. I looked into the Craighalbert Centre in Cumbernauld and Cerebral Palsy Scotland. Craighalbert do an early intervention programme and he goes there for and hour and a half every week. It’s been brilliant.
Cooper has also been coming for therapy sessions to Cerebral Palsy Scotland. I love the way it’s an hour with two therapists focused just on him and his needs. Everyone is so nice and friendly. Cooper’s disability is only physical. He’ll blow raspberries if you encourage him he’s so cheeky, and he loves chatting away with everyone, having a carry-on and being with other kids. He can’t sit unaided yet, but he’s only just three and manages to get around. When he’s lying on his tummy his right hand is always tucked under his belly. We’re trying to build up strength in this arm because his legs are ready to go.
The therapists did things I hadn’t even thought about to help Cooper get ready for nursery. Using little physio benches they’d sit behind him and help him take his shoes off, holding his leg up and reaching over to take the Velcro off his shoes, then helping him take his splints off and get onto his knees and onto the floor so he’s ready to play. It was great to get that focused time, it’s improved his confidence. They also let him choose his activities using a board, we hadn’t done that much and now we do it at home. Asking Cooper what he wants to do has given him a bit more independence.”
You can follow Cooper’s progress on his Facebook page.